What is the Best Age for Blepharoplasty Surgery?

Published: June 27, 2024
Category: Dr. Brian Kobienia, Eyelid Surgery, Face, Blog

The eyes are one of the most impactful features of our face and overall appearance. With a subtle movement, they can effortlessly convey a feeling or emotion. Their appearance can be a dead giveaway if we haven’t slept well the night before or are under immense stress or strain. Our eyes, and the delicate tissue surrounding them, are also one of the first places to show the signs of aging on our face. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift surgery, can help restore more refreshed and youthful-looking eyes. But you may wonder, what is the best age to have a bleph?

“It can be incredibly frustrating for patients when the physical appearance of their eye area is out of alignment with how youthful they feel inside,” says Dr. Brian Kobienia, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “Blepharoplasty surgery is the most effective way to rejuvenate the eye area and help patients reclaim a brighter, more awake, and youthful overall look to the face. Depending on how and why your eye area is aging, an eyelid lift may be appropriate at many ages and stages of life.”

What Are the Characteristics of a Youthful-Looking Eye?

Attractive eyes have similar qualities in both women and men. Youthful-looking eyes appear bright because light evenly reflects off the firm, smooth skin surrounding them. They also seem open and alert because there is no loose, heavy skin hooding the upper eye and no puffy, drooping skin below the lower lash line. The skin tone of youthful-looking eyes is clear and even, not marked with dark circles or deep under-eye hollows.

“Our eyes make a big first impression on the people around us because they are the focal point of our face,” explains Dr. Kobienia. “This is a fantastic thing if your eyes appear fresh and bright and youthful, but discouraging when the impression they give is that you are angry, tired, or older than your years. Blepharoplasty surgery can help address what is aging your eye area and may be sending those around you the wrong signals.”

How the Appearance of Our Eyes Changes as We Age

The skin around our eyes is very thin and delicate. This makes it more susceptible to showing the signs of natural aging and premature aging due to environmental damage. As collagen and elastin production decrease with aging, our eyes become more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure can also break down collagen, and years of squinting in the sun without sunglasses and even smiling can cause crow’s feet.

“Many people don’t realize that as we age, our face also loses bone, muscle, and fat,” says Dr. Kobienia. “This causes the face to lose invaluable structure, support, and volume. We’ll see this reflected in the eye area with drooping in the upper eyelid, sagging of the skin below the eyes, deep recesses or hollows under the eyes, and even puffiness below the eyes as fat pads distend to a lower position on the face. It’s also important to note that many people just genetically have drooping or heavy eyelids or bags under their eyes, and depending on how well you’ve cared for your skin and protected it from UV exposure, many younger patients will experience premature aging in the eye area.”

Common changes that may occur in the eye area with aging:

  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Deep hollows and shadows under the eyes
  • Sagging skin in the upper and/or lower eyelids
  • Chronic puffiness or bags under the eyes
  • The disappearance of an upper eyelid crease as excess skin begins to “hood” over the eye
  • Heaviness in the upper brow

How Does a Blepharoplasty Rejuvenate the Eye Area?

“A blepharoplasty, sometimes called an eyelid lift or bleph, can be performed on the upper, lower, or both eyelids during surgery,” says Dr. Kobienia. “The goal of an upper bleph is to remove excess skin and fat, tighten what remains, and create a naturally defined eyelid crease with a sloping arch that is authentic to the eye. An incision is made where the new eyelid crease will be formed, excess skin and fat are removed or manipulated, and fine, tiny sutures are placed within the crease to close the incision. The incision is very discreet.”

“For a lower lid blepharoplasty, an incision is made just beneath the lash line, extending to the crow’s feet region of the eye,” explains Dr. Kobienia. “Excess skin and fat are then removed to smooth and tighten the lower eye area. The lower lid can also be improved using what’s called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this technique, an incision is made along the inner lining of the lower lid where it will not be visible. This procedure allows treatment of the fat pads, though no skin can be removed, and works best for people with younger, elastic skin. Sometimes, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty is combined with a skin pinch blepharoplasty, where a skin excision is made right below the lower lash line. This approach can help preserve structural tissues of your lower lid to help prevent out-turning of the lower lid, or ectropion.”

If a patient is concerned about the appearance of BOTH the upper and lower lids of the eyes, a combined or full eyelid lift can completely restore the eye area. This wholistic approach is a fantastic way to improve multiple concerns simultaneously and maintain balance throughout your face.

What is the Best Age to Have a Blepharoplasty?

“During an eyelid lift consultation, I generally group patients into one of two categories,” says Dr. Kobienia. “The first category is comprised of patients that used to have bright, open eyes, but the appearance has changed due to the natural aging process. The second category is patients genetically born with heavy upper eyelids or developed puffiness or bags beneath their eyes at a younger age. As you can imagine, the age range of that second category can vary greatly!”

“It’s my opinion that the best age to have a blepharoplasty depends more on the unique anatomy of your eye area than your chronological age,” advises Dr. Kobienia. “I’ve seen patients as young as their 20s with prominent, heavy upper eyelids that make them appear tired and older than their years. You can almost guarantee that mom or dad have the same appearance to their eyes, as this is more of a genetic trait than the byproduct of aging. In this case, even though the patient is young, I would recommend an upper lid bleph because the condition will not improve on its own, and the quality of life for this patient can be safely and significantly improved by surgery.”

When it comes to blepharoplasty, most plastic surgeons will advise patients that the right time to have the procedure is when it’s right for YOU. For most patients, this is when the appearance of their eyes begins to bother them, and they have the financial means and time to schedule a blepharoplasty.

“In general, there are advantages to having a blepharoplasty when you are younger, as opposed to waiting,” says Dr. Kobienia. “That’s because younger patients are usually healthier, and their skin will recover more quickly. The visible signs of aging will also be less advanced when you are younger, which means less correction will be needed during surgery. But at the end of the day, any plastic surgery is a very personal decision that requires a patient to balance and assess their concerns with their lifestyle, budget, and personal aesthetic. That will be different for everyone, but our team of surgeons is here and ready to discuss your options whenever the timing is right for you!”

Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your eyes? Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss blepharoplasty with Dr. Brian Kobienia or another board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (952) 592-5970, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE!

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